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Educational Technology

Video: History of the technology in Education


Educational technology, sometimes termed
EdTech, is the study and ethical practice of facilitating e-learning, which is
the learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing
appropriate technological processes and resources. The term educational
technology is often associated with, and encompasses, instructional theory
and learning theory. Educational technology includes, but is not limited to,
software, hardware, as well as Internet applications, such as wikis and
blogs, and activities.
Technology in education is most simply and comfortably defined as an array
of tools that might prove helpful in advancing student learning and may be
measured on how and why individuals behave. Educational Technology
relies on a broad definition of the word "technology." Technology can refer
to material objects of use to humanity, such as machines or hardware, but
it can also encompass broader themes, including systems, methods of
organization, and techniques. Some modern tools include but are not
limited to overhead projectors, laptop computers, and calculators. Newer
tools such as smartphones and games (both online and offline) are
beginning to draw serious attention for their learning potential. Media
psychology is the field of study that applies theories of human behavior to
educational technology.
Educational technology could be traced back to the emergence of very early
tools, e.g., paintings on cave walls. But usually its history starts with the
introduction of educational films (1900s) or Sidney Pressey's mechanical
teaching machines in the 1920s.
The 1950s led to two major, still popular designs. Skinners work led to
"programmed instruction" focusing on the formulation of behavioral
objectives, breaking instructional content into small units and rewarding
correct responses early and often. Advocating a mastery approach to
learning based on his taxonomy of intellectual behaviors, Bloom endorsed
instructional techniques that varied both instruction and time according to
learner requirements. Models based on these designs were usually referred
to as computer-based training" (CBT), Computer-aided instruction or
computer-assisted instruction (CAI) in the 1970s through the 1990s. In a
more simplified form they correspond to today's "e-contents" that often
form the core of "e-learning" set-ups, sometimes also referred to as web-
based training (WBT) or e-instruction. The course designer divides learning
contents into smaller chunks of text augmented with graphics and
multimedia presentation. Frequent Multiple Choice questions with
immediate feedback are added for self-assessment and guidance. Such e-
contents can rely on standards defined by IMS, ADL/SCORM and IEEE.
The 1980s and 1990s produced a variety of schools that can be put under
the umbrella of the label Computer-based learning (CBL). Frequently based
on constructivist and cognitivist learning theories, these environments
focused on teaching both abstract and domain-specific problem solving.
Preferred technologies were micro-worlds (computer environments where
learners could explore and build), simulations (computer environments
where learner can play with parameters of dynamic systems) and
Digitized communication and networking
in education started in the mid 80s and
became popular by the mid-90's, in
particular through the World-Wide Web
(WWW), eMail and Forums. There is a
difference between two major forms of
online learning. The earlier type, based on either Computer Based Training
(CBT) or Computer-based learning (CBL), focused on the interaction
between the student and computer drills plus tutorials on one hand or
micro-worlds and simulations on the other. Both can be delivered today
over the WWW. Today, the prevailing paradigm in the regular school
system is Computer-mediated communication (CMC), where the primary
form of interaction is between students and instructors, mediated by the
computer. CBT/CBL usually means individualized (self-study) learning, while
CMC involves teacher/tutor facilitation and requires scenarization of flexible
learning activities. In addition, modern ICT provides education with tools for
sustaining learning communities and associated knowledge management
tasks. It also provides tools for student and curriculum management.
In addition to classroom enhancement, learning technologies also play a
major role in full-time distance teaching. While most quality offers still rely
on paper, videos and occasional CBT/CBL materials, there is increased use
of e-tutoring through forums, instant messaging, video-conferencing etc.
Courses addressed to smaller groups frequently use blended or hybrid
designs that mix presence courses (usually in the beginning and at the end
of a module) with distance activities and use various pedagogical styles
(e.g., drill & practise, exercises, projects, etc.).
The 2000s emergence of multiple mobile and ubiquitous technologies gave
a new impulse to situated learning theories favoring learning-in-context
scenarios. Some literature uses the concept of integrated learning to
describe blended learning scenarios that integrate both school and
authentic (e.g., workplace) settings.
Students are now growing up in a digital age where they have constant
exposure to a variety of media.

Educational technology is intended to improve education for the 21st
century learner. Students today are considered "Digital Natives" who were
born and raised in a digital environment and inherently think different
because of this exposure to technology. Some of the claimed benefits of
incorporating technology into the classroom are listed below:
Easy-to-access course materials. Instructors can post their course
material or important information on a course website, which means
students can study at a time and location they prefer and can obtain
the study material very quickly.
Student motivation. According to James Kulik, who studies the
effectiveness of computers used for instruction, students usually learn
more in less time when receiving computer-based instruction and they
like classes more and develop more positive attitudes toward
computers in computer-based classes. Teachers must be aware of
their students' motivators in order to successfully implement
technology into the classroom. Students are more motivated to learn
when they are interested in the subject matter, which can be
enhanced by using technologies in the classroom and targeting the
need for screens and digital material
that they have been
stimulated by outside of the classroom.
More opportunities for extended learning. According to study
completed in 2010, 70.3% of American family households have access
to the internet.
According to Canadian Radio Television and
Telecommunications Commission Canada, 79% of homes have access
to the internet.
This allows students to access course material at
home and engage with the numerous online resources available to
them. Students can use their home computers and internet to conduct
research, participate in social media, email, play educational games
and stream videos.
Using online resources such as Khan Academy or TED Talks can help
students spend more time on specific aspects of what they may be learning
in school, but at home. These online resources have added the opportunity
to take learning outside of the classroom and into any atmosphere that has
an internet connection. These
online lessons allow for students
who might need extra help to
understand materials outside of
the classroom. These tutorials can
focus on small concepts of large
ideas taught in class, or the other
way around. Schools like MIT
have even made their course
materials free online so that
anybody can access them.
Although there are still some
aspects of a classroom setting that are missed by using these resources,
they are still helpful tools to add additional support to the already existing
educational system.
Wide participation. Learning material can be used for long distance
learning and are accessible to a wider audience.
Improved student writing. It is convenient for students to edit their
written work on word processors, which can, in turn, improve the
quality of their writing. According to some studies, the students are
better at critiquing and editing written work that is exchanged over a
computer network with students they know.
Differentiated Instruction. Educational technology provides the
means to focus on active student participation and to present
differentiated questioning strategies. It broadens individualized
instruction and promotes the development of personalized learning
plans in some computer programs available to teachers. Students are
encouraged to use multimedia components and to incorporate the
knowledge they gained in creative ways. This allows some students to
individually progress from using low ordered skills gained from drill
and practice activities, to higher level thinking through applying
concepts creatively and creating simulations.
In some cases, the
ability to make educational technology individualized may aid in
targeting and accommodating different learning styles and levels.
Overall, the use of internet in education has had a positive impact on
students, educators, as well as the educational system as a whole. Effective
technologies use many evidence-based strategies (e.g., adaptive content,
frequent testing, immediate feedback, etc.), as do effective teachers.
is important for teachers to embrace technology in order to gain these
benefits so they can address the needs of their digital natives
"Additional Benefits":
The Internet itself has unlocked a world of opportunity for students.
Information and ideas that were previously out of reach are a click
away. Students of all ages can connect, share, and learn on a global

Using computers or other forms of technology can give students
practice on core content and skills while the teacher can work with
others, conduct assessments, or perform other tasks.

Using technology in the classroom can allow teachers' to effectively
organize and present lessons. Multimedia presentations can make the
material more meaningful and engaging.

"Technologys impact in schools has been significant, advancing how
students learn, how teachers teach and how efficiently and effectively
educational services can be delivered, said Carolyn April, director,
industry analysis, CompTIA. With emerging technologies such as
tablets and netbooks, interactive whiteboards and wireless solutions
gaining ground in the classroom, the reliance on IT by the education
market will only grow in the years ahead.

Studies completed in "computer intensive" settings found increases in
student centre, cooperative and higher order learning, students writing
skills, problem solving, and using technology. In addition, positive
attitudes toward technology as a learning tool by parents, students
and teachers are also improved.